November 4, 2011

Almond Noodles with Pickled Pear Relish

Give me a rule and I will break it. 

Who says peanuts get to have all the fun? Almonds are just as versatile (hellooo, almond butter) and should be used with abandon. Don’t let this bundle of noodles fool you with its creamy zesty-ness. They may be all up in your face with flavor but this dish is healthy and loaded with good fats, protein, fiber and vitamins to keep your engine roaring. 

So, if you are looking to surprise the people you love at dinner tonight, rock their nuts off by pulling this recipe out of the bag. Be sure to make enough for seconds.  

Almond Noodles with Pickled Pear Relish

¾ lb soba noodles (or brown rice noodles)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
3 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 pear, julienned
3 stalks celery, julienned
½ cup slivered almonds

To marinade the chicken:
¼ cup light soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. chili paste
1 tbsp grated garlic

For almond dressing:
½ cup natural almond butter
¼ cup light soy sauce
½ cup warm water
2 tbsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp grated garlic
1 tsp. dried cilantro
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
3 tsp. sugar (or honey)
3 tbsp. chili paste (to taste, I’m a spice girl)

In a dry skillet, toast almonds on medium heat until fragrant. Set to the side.

Marinade the chicken breasts in soy sauce, vinegar, chili paste and garlic. Prepare noodles based on package directions then drain, rinse and set to the side.

Julienne the shallot, pear, bell pepper, and celery; marinate the vegetables in rice wine vinegar, sugar and red pepper flakes; allow the mixture to set while you prepare the rest of the dish. 

In a medium bowl whisk almond butter, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, vinegar, sugar, chili paste and hot water until blended and smooth. Toss the noodles in the sauce and set to the side.

In a grill pan on medium high heat grill the chicken breasts; slather with excess marinade while they cook. Cook until the juices run clear, about 5-6 minutes for each side.

To plate, twirl a portion of the noodles on the plate and sprinkle with almonds. Thinly slice the chicken breast on a diagonal and set on top. Pile the pickle pear relish on top of the chicken and sprinkle with another dusting of slivered almonds.

Great warm or cold.


  1. You are really pulling out some tasty dishes-I like every element of this one! Whoever is sitting down to any of your meals sure is the lucky one. I need to pull out and add to my grocery list for this one, but I am sure the taste is well worth getting the ingredients. Have a great weekend-no doubt you meals will be wonderful!

  2. Love the colors of this dish--and I agree, I use almonds way more than peanuts!

  3. Wow! This is such a treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. Love the pickled pear relish - a really lovely touch!

  4. Oh, my gosh! I love everything about this beautiful dish...the noodles,the chicken, the flavors! Both gorgeous and delicious!!! I hope you don't mind me dropping by for dinner tonight ;)

  5. Wow - this is an amazing dish! I LOVE the flavor combination! You're talking my language with this one! BTW - vote for you again today!

  6. A very original dish. The contrast between nutiness and tanginess must be delightful. Also, the noodles are presented very elegantly.

  7. This is so lovely. Breaking the rules can be so much fun. Great job!

  8. such a pretty dish with the fruit on top. Love the spices with the nutty flavor - bet this would be awesome with tahini too!

  9. I love everything about this dish! the spices, the meat and the nuts! just lovely!

  10. I actually prefer almond more than peanut and this looks delicious! It's not common in Japan to eat soba as stir fried noodle (we never thought of stir frying!) and I've seen it a couple of times. I've been meaning to try it and kept forgetting. This looks delicious!

  11. What a beautiful dish! I would love this for dinner - and yeah, I love me some slivered almonds tossed into things!

  12. This is one delicious-looking plate of food! I love almonds!


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